Saturday, November 17, 2012

OMG!!! Holy Shizzballs!!!

Okay --  I have been super busy and super preoccupied with pre-holiday preps and such.  I need to blog some shizz out in a major way, but it's gonna have to wait a for a bit because I am running around with my ass on fire trying to get stuff done.

Um, like, I totally need to do the whole Liebster Blog that The Dandy Bandy was so sweet to nominate me for!!  Just know, Dandy --- I'm gonna do it soon and I appreciate it so much!!

But my real reason for this drive by blog??  NEW LOW!!!!!  I don't know WTF?!?? I was not expecting this when I jumped on the scale this morning.


SHUT. YOUR. FRENCH. TOAST!!!!  I am so excited I could just pee!!!!  Now Imma go do some Saturday Zumba!!!!!

Later Taters!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

High Cotton!!!

Wow!!!  I have been absent for a while.

Fair warning this post is gonna be random as all hell with bullet points firing in all different directions.  

  • I have been really busy lately.  There have been so many things going on but for the most part they have been really good.  West TN is cotton country and several members of The Hubs' family still make a living growing cotton.  It's cotton pickin' time in this neck of woods and the cotton is HIGH!!!  "High Cotton" is a very good thing.  Here in the South (particularly where cotton is grown) we have a saying, "Shittin' in high cotton!!" and it means that everything is really good.  I feel like I have been going non-stop and things are whirling around but I feel really good about pretty much everything right now.  (Hence, the blog title. Ha!)  Here is a pic from the family's farm.  
It's even more gorgeous when you can see it go on for miles.  

  • October 20 was my 11th anniversary.  The Hubs and I just took a quick little weekend trip to Nashville.  We had a great time!  I hit the clearance rack at 0ld N@vy and racked up on some awesome deals.  Even bought my first pair of Skinny jeans -- in a size 8.  They are snug but they fit and I can still breath (a little) in them.  NSV!!!  My first clothing in a single digit size!!!!  Holla!!!  Here is a pic I took that weekend (I am terrible at cell phone self portraits!)

These aren't the skinny jeans but it's a huge NSV bc I  am wearing a belt purely for the purpose of fashion.  
  • I got to go to my FAVORITE Zumba class with my Zumba idol -- Maggie!!  She is a ball buster!!  Just when I start to get cocky about my Zumba skills I go back and take her class and get my ass kicked in the best kind of way!!!  She has encouraged me from the beginning and even though she is a former professional dancer (as in Broadway professional not pole/g-string professional)  she always made me feel like I was totally awesome in Zumba class!!!  
Sweaty post Zumba sparkle!!  You can't tell but she had to bend quite a bit so as not to be 2ft taller than me!! Ha!

  • One of my anniversary gifts to myself was to have my wedding/engagement rings resized.  I hadn't worn them in over a year because they were too loose.  The idea of getting them resized made me very anxious.  For some reason, it felt like a huge leap of faith that my weight loss was really real.  Like I was REALLY committed to this new body of mine and there is no going back.  I don't know --- it's hard to describe.  But I was really pleased with the way it came out.  


  • Finally made it back to my hometown in East TN to pick up many of the items left to me by my Nana.  Most of it was sentimental pieces that aren't particularly valuable but that remind me so much of her and going to her house.  However, I did get some really awesome things.  The first is a gorgeous rocking chair that will be PERFECT for a nursery when/if that time comes.  The second were her diamond stud earrings -- she wore them everyday from the time she got them till shortly before she passed.  Since she never took them out they were just bit "gunked" up with make-up and such.  It took some serious scrubbing but now they sparkle like new.  I really love having a piece of jewelry that she loved and valued so much.  

  • My OB/GYN determined that he thinks my pregnancy issues are related to a Luteal Phase Defect.  Which in my case, means that my Luteal Phase is too short (The Luteal phase is the part of your cycle after you ovulate ideally it should be around 14 days long.  Some women can get/stay pregnant with as little as 12 days but anything shorter than that makes getting and/or staying pregnant a challenge.)  One of the primary treatments for LPD is HCG injections.  Yes, HCG. The same HCG that is produced during pregnancy detected by a pregnancy test  AND the same HCG that is being used in one of the newest (and freakiest) weight loss fads.  I have heard so many horror stories about fertility treatments and hormones etc that I was really apprehensive about beginning any kind of hormone therapy.   For now, I have gotten super lucky in that department.  Of all the hormone treatments out there, HCG is the least complicated.  I only have to do 4 shots per cycle, it has very few (minor) side effects, it's a small shot in my belly (not one of those huge ones that have to go 3 miles into your muscle).  Other than the fact that I almost passed out the first time I had to give myself the shot -- this first round has been relatively easy.  Hopefully, my Luteal phase will be extended which will hopefully pump up my progesterone levels.  

  • Remember in the last point when I said that HCG is used in some new fangled weight loss fad???  Well, I am happy to say that it's the best side effect ever!!!  I am at a new all time low of 170lbs.  I have lost 4lbs in the past week --- it's totally because of the HCG because I haven't been especially great in the eating department.  We shall see if it "real" i.e. if it stays off this week since my last shot this cycle was yesterday.   I haven't had a loss like that since the early days of my surgery.  But I would be lying if I didn't admit to being seriously geeked about the weight loss side effect.  I am finally the person who gets weight loss as a side effect of medication!!!  I have never in my life been that person.  
That's all I can think of for now.  I know there is more stuff to tell about but I just can't think of it right now.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Your Input Is Needed!!!!

So, I told you all that I recently got certified to teach Zumba.  I have been working on routines and thinking about developing classes.  The Zumba market in our area is kinda saturated so I definitely need something to set myself apart.  I also really want to reach out to the folks who are where I was 3 yrs ago.

Also, I just read this post by Megan at Big Bottom Banded.

With all that being said, one of the Memphis bariatric surgeons has recently opened a satellite office in my town.  When I finally do decide to pursue teaching my own Zumba classes, I have given thought to maybe working with them to offer to teach a class for their new WLS patients.

SOOOOO...... here is my question(s).

Would it make a difference to you if you knew that your fitness instructor was a WLS patient??  

Would you have felt more confident starting to exercise in a group format if your instructor had WLS??  

Or if your class was for WLS patients only??  

I REALLY want  need your feedback/input on this, even if it is only a couple of words.

Pretty please, help a sistruh??

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weight Limits???

I know, I know ---- it's usually MandaPanda bringing you the news but I saw this on the morning news this AM while I was having my coffee.  

Here is the article: (I copy/pasted it for those who aren't able to click through links) 

(CNN) -- Childhood obesity isn't just a health issue, according to a group of retired military leaders. It's also a national security issue.One in four young adults are too overweight to join the U.S. military, a new report from the advocacy group Mission: Readiness says. And the U.S. Department of Defense spends an estimated $1 billion each year on medical care related to obesity issues for active duty members, their dependents and veterans."No other major country's military forces face the challenges of weight gain confronting America's armed forces," according to the report.

"At the end of the day, the reason America is safe and sound is not because of its tanks," adds retired Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, spokesman for Mission: Readiness. "It's really the men and women who volunteer and so proudly serve."

Kids on average consume 130 "empty" calories a day from candy, cookies and chips, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mission: Readiness has been working to get rid of junk food in schools since 2010, when it supported the passing of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The act requires the USDA to update nutrition standards in schools.

Mission: Readiness believes having healthier food in the cafeteria and in vending machines will help slow - or even reverse - rising childhood obesity rates. And healthy children are more likely to grow up to be healthy adults who can serve their country

"We're not picking on the schools," Seip says. "The schools are part of the solution. We like to think that this obesity problem... is one that's going to require all of America to tackle."


While I am not usually one to post news type articles, this one really hit me.   It IS scary to think that our military defenses could be compromised because our young people are too obese to meet the physical requirements of military service.  But the real reason it struck me so hard was that I identify totally with this problem.  

Although I never aspired to military service, I did, at one point in my life, aspire to being a police officer.   I even got a degree in Criminal Justice (that was before I learned how to clean teeth). However, I never pursued my desire to join the police because, at the time,  I knew I would NEVER be able to complete and pass the physical training.  It's just another reminder of the limits that my weight put on me and allowed me to put on myself.  

I was overweight or obese from my childhood through the majority of my adulthood.  It's still a touch painful to think about all the ambitions and experiences that I never pursued or had the courage to pursue because of my weight.  

This makes me sad because I know there will be many kids out there that feel called to defend their country but won't be able to do so because of their poor physical condition.   Even worse are the kids who won't aspire to join the military because they are repeatedly told how awful, terrible, and worthless they are because they are overweight/obese.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

NSVs -- Like a Boss!!!!

First off, I am glad that everyone had a great time in Chicago and equally glad everyone got to and fro all safe and sound.

While part of me is sad I missed out on BOOBs3, my weekend RAWKED pretty hard despite not being in Chicago.

Last week/weekend was full of some HUGE non-scale victories as well as a scale related victory.

My scale related victory was getting to see a new all time low!!!  I am finally solidly into the 170's with my new low of 174 lbs.  For anyone keeping count that comes out to a total of -110lbs.

Thanks to my new all time low I got to experience my first NSV in a long time when I decided to try on a pair of Size 10 jeans.  When I pulled them off the rack, I really didn't think they would fit, but the jeans were super cheap on clearance so I thought "What the hell -it's worth a shot!!" I really anticipated doing some dressing room acrobatics to wrestle them on, but it wasn't necessary -- they slide right up and fit like a glove.  

The proof!!  Even better they were clearanced for $13 (I found the same pair at another store on sale for $12 -I totes bought those too!!) 
I won't lie -- I almost cried right there in dressing room.  I have never worn a Size 10 anything in my entire adult life.

NSV: Numero Dos

As of this weekend I am officially a Licensed Z*mba Instructor, well, I am licensed to instruct.  I haven't actually instructed my own class, yet.  There is still a lot of work for me to do before that happens like, 1) coming up with some routines, 2) learning those routines, 3) getting over my paralyzing fear of being in charge of a class, 4) dealing with my anxiety that everyone will hate my routines and will leave class before the 2nd song.  You know, no big.

Taking this certification class was so HUGE on so many levels.  Now, in all honesty, they will pretty much give anyone a certificate if you complete the class, so don't let me fool you into thinking that I got some mad, awesome dance skills.  However, the class IS pretty intense.  It is basically 8 hrs of almost non-stop Zumba lead by an Instructor who has been doing Zumba since it began in the US almost 10 yrs ago (Chica was pretty hardcore!!).  So the fact that I could hang in a class that intense for almost 8hrs -- feels like a pretty big deal.  (Especially considering that 3yrs ago I spent most of my free time sleeping).  Bonus, I WASN'T THE BIGGEST GIRL IN THE ROOM!!!!  That still takes getting used to, I have spent so much of my life being the biggest person in the room that it still takes me by surprise.   Having that realization in a fitness related environment is just double bonus.

This me goofin' with my pal K.K. who took the class with me.  Notice our matching BondiBands!!!  Our class was held at a church so we didn't get to shower at the end of the day ---  we were RANCID!!!  I think KK's car still smells like BO.
****  With all this talk of NSVs and new lows I must tell the whole store of this weekend.  When we left the training class I was HUNGRY like I have never been before (despite having fueled myself throughout the day on good, healthy snacks).  My bones were hungry!!!  I remember thinking --- this is what athletes must feel like.  Anyways, KK and I had to hit the road for home so we opted for drive-thru dinner.  Somehow, someway in the course of the 3hr drive home I consumed a bacon cheeseburger, Lg onion rings, Lg Cherry Coke, AND a Chocolate Frosty.  I have NO idea where I put it.  Any other day I would have been horrified with myself but I DID NOT even feel the teensiest bit of guilt since my HR/calories burned monitor said we had burned 5000+ calories that day.  And lemme tell ya, I am not crazy about fast food these days and I really do my best to avoid it but I have no words to explain how that meal rocked my face!! 

As if this weekend couldn't get any better, I found the purse I have been lusting after for over a year on sale at TJ M@xx for $150 cheaper than normal retail. SNAP!!!! 


 It is by Michael K0rs and I have lusted after it fo-eva!!!  Even on deep discount it was still waaaaaay more expensive than any purse I have ever owned before.  But I had some extra birthday $$$ burning a hole in my pocket and I really wanted something nice to reward myself for making more forward progress in my weight loss/fitness journey.  Now I am gonna start saving my nickels and dimes for the brown version.  

Lots good stuff going on!!  I am also making plans to run a couple of 5Ks before the end of the year.  The Hubs and I have decided to wait till the first of the new year to resume any baby making efforts in order to avoid being all hopped up on hormones/baby stress during the holidays.  ('Cause when it comes to the holidays I don't need any help in the Crazy Dept.)  So, while I haven't accomplished certain things I had set out do this year, I will [hopefully] end the year having accomplished even more weight loss and fitness goals than I could have imagined.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ten (maybe) Rants Thursday.....

Mad props to Laura for TTT.

1) Today is the first day of TOM which prolly accounts for my post title.  I'm a smidge cranky.  Fair warning this may be a little lot ranty.

2) Since today is the first day of TOM it means I have officially completed my first cycle of fertility charting.  My OB will begin the hormone testing in cycle 3 and we can start trying again with cycle 4.  WOOT!!  Also since my fertility charting hinges completely on charting cervix mucus (TMI, I know), 5 days of TOM means a 5 day vacation from evaluating what being produced by my lady station. Double WOOT!!

3) I forgot to mention that September 5 was my estimated due date for pregnancy fail #1 -- I managed to make it till around 5pm without thinking about it.  I also managed to think about it without having a total emotional breakdown.  Progress, I guess?

4) Speaking of due dates--   Remember the pregnant cousin-in-law?  You know, the one who announced her 5wk pregnancy on FB the same day I found out about pregnancy fail #1 ?? The one who announced on Mother's Day that she would be naming her son Jacob which was the boy name that my Hubs and I had been planning on using for years --- this was after she swore up and down to me that she would not be conforming to the family tradition of naming boys with "J" names (which is why I never called dibs on the name.)???  Yeah, that pregnant cousin-in-law

She is being induced next week.  Know what else is next week??  My birthday.  So help me if she has her baby on my birthday it will be all I can do to keep from kicking her in the vagina.  It's like her pregnancy has been some kind of cosmic joke meant to destroy my sanity.

Of course, I don't think she is really gonna have the baby on my birthday because she has requested to be induced late on the 17th so she can have the baby on the 18th because she doesn't want the baby to have an odd numbered birthday.  REALLY?!??!?  WTF??!?!?   All I could think was --"I just wish my baby would've had A BIRTHDAY....period."

I am totally amazed by the ridiculously trivial things that pregnant women that have never dealt with infertility or miscarriage can concern themselves with.  I guess when you have never had worry whether your pregnancy will last long enough for a baby to even be born it's really easy to get all wrapped up in stupid shit like the numerical value of your baby's birthdate.

5) I have 2 different people in my life who are currently (obnoxiously on FB) pregnant with 2nd or 3rd children and blathering on and on about their baby showers.  I may offend some of you but I cannot tell you just how obnoxious I find having a baby shower for your second/third child.  According to my MIL this is somewhat of a newish trend since the advent of gender identification before birth.

Dear Cousin-in-law: 

I am sorry you had a girl first and only registered for pink shit and now you are having a boy but I really don't think I should have to buy you things you already have just because you foolishly bought them in all pink.  Let your little man hang out in the pink Bumb*o chair it'll be good for him. 

Dear Other Friend:
I know you thought you were done with having  kids and sold all your baby stuff and now you are preggo with Baby Whoops (who was conceived right after you had your IUD removed and Daddy "didn't feel like running out to Walgreens for some rubbers", and you completely forgot that your  previous 2 kids were concieved on each first attempt), but why should I have to buy you new baby shit because you guys were careless and didn't use protection.

6) And don't get me started on people having Wedding Showers when 1) this is their 2nd, 3rd..... marriage  or 2) they run off and elope.  (My wedding was a Justice of the Peace type thing and I was not thrown nor did I request a wedding shower)

Wedding/Baby Showers are to help people get the things they need to begin a new phase of life --- you only begin that new phase once ---- choose wisely in the things you ask for and be mindful of cost.  Maybe even get your finances in line before you take that next step???  (Of course maybe I am just bitter because we waited to have kids till we were financially able to support the decision on our own and waiting so long may have contributed to my current difficulties???) 

I guess the reason I am so pissy about this is because some of the things these women have registered for are just ridiculous!!!  Like the $100 baby food processor.  Which is just a food processor in Baby colors ---- seriously???  you can't get a standard food processor for less?  Or the $20 special cutting board just for baby's food?  Come on!

Just because someone else is footing the bill doesn't mean frugality flies out the window.

7) Since I have offended half my readers let me offend the other half.  I have TOTAL respect for teachers --- seriously, I could not do your job.  However, I have gotten so tired of listening to my teacher friends whine on and on on FB about how everyone thinks their job is cake but it's really the hardest job ever, ever, ever.  

This rant is mainly aimed at my sister-in-law.  Everyday on FB she has to announce that she didn't leave school until 5:00pm so everyone who thinks that teachers only work from 8-3 is just stupid.  Of course I always feel the need to remind her that pretty much everyone else in the free world has to stay at work until 5pm and it's not optional.  I also feel the need to remind her that those same people work till 5pm everyday all year round and not just 180 days out of the year.  Don't get me wrong -- teaching is a thankless job that requires a lot of hard work but there are lots of hard working, thankless jobs that DON'T allow people to have 12wks of paid vacation during the year.  

8) My Dad, Aunt, & Uncle are fighting like children over the settling of my Nana's estate.   The items currently being disputed :  an electric mixer, a flower arrangement, and a portrait.

9) Does it seem like everyone out in BOOBland in constant texting contact with everyone else in BOOBland??  Or is it just me??  Maybe I am just having insecurity and not feeling included in both real life and blog life.  

I think that's all I've got but, really, I'm sure this is more than enough. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Epic Thrift Store WIN & New Low Weigh-in!!!!!

This weekend I made 2 trips to a couple of local thrift stores.  The first one was completely by chance because The Hubs and I had some time to kill on Friday afternoon.  After my first good trip, I decided to try again at another store across town on Sunday.

I have never really had all that much luck with thrift store clothing shopping.  It always seemed like the the selection available in larger sizes had a definite Granny vibe going. I wasn't super confident I would find anything during this trip either, but I figured "What the hell?!?!"

Since getting back into regular exercise I had started noticing that my clothes were getting a little looser so I thought I would take a chance on trying on some stuff in the next size down (size 12).  Lemme say that the quality clothes options get waaaaay better the lower the size.

I racked up!!!  Both trips combined I spent just over $100. However, except for 2 coats, I didn't spend more than $6 for any single item.  Most items were around $2.50-$3 (some were even $.99)

It is sooooo nice to really fill out my closet.   Throughout my weight loss I have kept clothing purchases to the absolute bare minimum.  Between the fact that I don't work outside my home and never knowing how long I would actually be able to wear an article of clothing --- spending oodles of cash on clothes just never made sense.  This reluctance to spend $$ on clothes meant that my fashionable wardrobe options were non-existent.  (God forbid I have to dress up 2 days/evenings in a row!!)

Imma gonna get my fashion on now!!!

I don't even live in a very large city --- I am sure you big city folk have waaaay better thrift store options.

Stretch khakis - Unlisted, Kenneth Cole

Okay, this is hilarious! These are actually maternity pants. I THOUGHT they were yoga pants and they were on the .99 rack so I just threw them in the cart. Didn't realize they are maternity until I went to wash them.  Oh well, they will live in the back of the closet till I need them.  

This coat is AMAZING!!!  Straight off the Mad Men wardrobe dept.  And yes! That collar is REAL FUR!!!
 It was only $25!!!!

This pleather coat is also totally pimpin'!!!  It was only $16 

This sucker is a CASHMERE blend!!!!  Did you hear me??  CASHMERE!!!   For $2.50

Love this--  Boots and leggings, what?!?!

Another nice little layering sweater! 

There are few things I love like a black, turtleneck sweater -- it's just so classic!!!  That is why I bought TWO!!!   Seriously!?! when it's .99, how can you not??? 

More fuzzy sweater action!!

I fuh-reaking love this outfit.  Top: Old Navy, Pants: The Limited

Just some generic floppy cargos, but they are SUPER comfy!! 
The last thing I need is more T-shirts but the Adidas shirt is  U Tenn Orange and the black one is a moisture wicking material for fall winter workouts. 

These jeans are so great!!  Ann Taylor Loft!!

Again, another outfit I fuh-reakin love.  It doesn't get more classic than a French blue oxford and these pants are from the Gap and they are THE BALLS!!!!  I LOVE THEM!! 

More slacks from Dockers, (They look black but they are really dark grey)

These pants are kind of an NSV for me.  They are corduroys from Old Navy.   In my bigger days I would NEVER have worn these because I would have been mortified by the "Swishy, Swishy" sound of my super huge legs rubbing together.  Not to mention, the fear that my inner thighs would have caught fire.

So there you go my thrift store conquest. This maybe a fluke but I think I am really coming around to thrift store shopping.  I like it for a couple of reasons -- mainly the $$. What I like is that if an article is maybe just a wee bit too snug but I liked it anyway then it's only $3 so I can afford to get it as a motivational item.  I would never do that with something that costs $50.

The real downside to thrift store shopping is the time --  you gotta hunt for your deals and (I recommend) you gotta try things on.

Here's hoping I have  more awesome thrift store luck in the future.

I totally failed to mention that now that I am officially wearing Size 12 pants (and I say officially because all the pants I bought were Size 12's ) it means that I am in the smallest clothing size of my entire adult life.  HOLLA!!!!!


I totally woke up this morning to a new low on my scale - 178.8. (I actually saw 178 on Friday at my Docs office when I tagged along to The Hubs' appt- but I wasn't gonna count it until I saw it on my own scale)  Can I tell you how totally geeked I am to be out of the 180s!!  Woot!!  It's also good to finally see my renewed commitment to exercise FINALLY paying off. (It's also nice to see that the Snickerdoodle brownies I made over the weekend didn't completely derail me.)  It's been almost a month and the first 2 weeks I didn't see a damn bit of movement!!  Only 4.8lbs to go to my first goal on 174lbs!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Unfollow a Blog!!!!

Many of you have complained about not being able to "unfollow" many of the abandoned blogs that you have followed. I have also been on a bit of a blogcleaning mission and I think I managed to f*ck up and figure out how to do it.

First things first.....if I tell you how to unfollow then you can't use it to unfollow me, mmkay?? You promise??? Alrighty, I believe you.

Here goes:

1) Go to the blog you wish to unfollow

2) Find the "follow widget" aka the thing with everybody's pics clustered together.

3) Make sure you are signed into the site. If there is a link that say "Join this site" - you aren't signed in and you need to do that.

4) After you sign in you should see your pic above the cluster of followers pics. Under your pic is a tab that says "Options" -- click on that. (see photo 1)

5) When you click the Options tab a menu will drop down. Click on "Site Settings" -- it will take you to another page where you can select to "Stop following this site" (see photo 2)

6) Voila!!! You have officially unfollowed that blog. Just remember you can do this with any blog you wish 'cept for mine. K? K!!
Add caption

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ten Things Thursday -- Happy Stuff Edition!!

Props to Laura Belle for TTT, word!!!

Okaysies,  since my last couple posts have been gloomy and depressing I am gonna focus on the things that are actually making me happy.

1) ZUMBA!!!  I am finally back to doing Zumba regularly -- like 7x week!!!  I have been at it for 3 weeks and I feel amazeballs!!  I talked about how I had kinda bailed on working out the past few months due the baby issues, but also I was super hatin' the Zumba instructor that I had been going to, you remember, The Redneck Lady Gaga??? Well, things only got worse so I finally decided to be done with that 'ho and find some more damn Zumba.  

2) I totally found some new Zumba classes.  They aren't as "intense" as I would like but I am able to modify it up to my desired intensity level. However, the class is SUPER friendly and supportive as well as very welcoming.  The instructor has lost almost 60lbs without surgery since she started Zumba -- and she still isn't a skinny stick.  Lots of normal sized people in this class just trying to get their sweat on.  It's sooo nice to look forward to my classes again instead of it feeling like I am walking into the movie "Mean Girls".

3) I am also scheduled to attend Zumba Instructor Training Sept 29.  YAY!!!  I had been schedule to do it in July but had to postpone because of my Nana's passing.  It's better that I didn't take it then because my head was NOT in a good place for that kind of thing.  This is such a HUGE NSV for me.  To think, 2.5 years ago I was about to get LapBand surgery because I could no longer muster the energy to function of even the most basic levels and soon I will be able to teach a fitness class. WTF???

I do worry that the lighter intensity of these new classes have me feeling all froggy like some Zumba badass and I am gonna get the floor wiped with my ass when I go to the training.  

4) I think this is almost it on the Zumba topic, buuuut I have to say how much I love these little suckers:
They my 1lb wrist weights and they are ROCKIN' MY ARMS!!!  (I know they look weird I have them wrapped w/ sports tape because my hands get all sweaty when I am wearing them)  I have been wearing them during my Zumba classes and they have been really making a difference.  1 lb doesn't seem like much but sling those things around for an hour straight -- you start to feel it.  I know they aren't gonna get me mega muscles but they are really helping with toning.  I am starting to see definition in my arms for the first time!!  YAY!!  (I am about to move up to 2lb weights soon!! )

5)Speaking of the gun show aka my arms.  This new found definition has got me a smidgen obsessed with my arms.  I am trying to do more stuff to get them buffed and toned!!  Now, if I could muster up some obsession about my abs.

6) Okay, okay ---enough about Zumba and my arms. I have also found this that makes me happy!!

It's Cherry Limeade!!!  Just 15 calories a serving, like I could drink this whole jug (not that I would) and it would only be 105 calories.  For the most part, I only drink water, unsweet tea, and coffee, but every now and then I want something a little different. (I don't do soda bc the carbonation makes me very uncomfortable)  I do LOVE me some S*nic Cherry Limeade -- not great for me because of sugar and fizz.  Imagine how delighted I was when I saw this gem in the cooler while strolling through W*lmarks.  Low calorie? Check! Non-carbonated? Check! Costs $1???  Check, check!!

* Mental note:  Add Vodka for Low Cal Adult Beverage Treat!!

7) I finally got my Fertility Charting materials and such.  Yes, there is a manual for my Doc's regimen.

I plan on posting about this more in depth so if you g**gle this --- please don't get any ideas about me. I will need to explain myself.  I am not exactly happy about having to do a charting regimen, but I am happy about getting the show on the road towards information and progress.

8) Pinterest!!!  I finally drank the Pinterest Kool-Aid.  ( I think I pinned a recipe for that!)  I am loving it.  I was very resistant at first, but I was lured in by recipes and craft DIY projects.   I really has been awesome though.  The Hubs and I are trying to keep dining out to a minimum.  Most of the time when we would go out to eat it was because I could decide on what to fix or was too tired/busy to fix a major meal.  It has been so helpful to turn to Pinterest for ideas on new recipes and ideas on quick meals.  If you are on Pinterest I would love to follow you  and you can follow me-- just let me know!!

9) My new (kinda) treadmill.  My parents bought a treadmill 5-6 yrs ago with all these lofty plans for using it.  It has since been in the back bedroom of their house, untouched, unused, and basically new.  Well, the last time I was home I totally jacked it.  They haven't offered to do anything that could be mistaken for exercise in 6 yrs and I have.  We brought it home but the only place we have for it is the garage so it's kinda off limits until it's not hotter that the 3rd layer of the Sun in my garage.  I am not crazy about using the treadmill but it is really nice to have that as a last ditch back up work out.

10) I am just glad to be posting about something that isn't so depressing and pathetic.  I worry that many of you haven't commented because my depressing posts made you find the nearest bridge and hurl yourself off it.  I certainly hope that isn't the case.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pt. 2: Miscarriage x 2....What now??

A few quick points before I get back to the epic novel about my lady guts.

1) I would like to thank all of y'all for not pointing out my glaring math fail when describing my giant milkshake.  26 + 8 actually equals 34, not 32-- whoops!!

2) Thanks so much for reading and responding to these mini-novels --  it really does help hearing everyone's feedback/suggestions.

Anyways, where was I??  Oh, yeah.

I came home from the hospital and spent the rest of weekend in a pain med induced haze.  I probably didn't actually need any pain meds, but my Doc indulged me some light meds after I told him that: 1) it's the weekend so I can't easily call you tomorrow if I am in terrible pain AND 2) I am in no kind of emotional mood to contend with any unnecessary discomfort.

Since the reason for the D&C was concern for an ectopic pregnancy the Doc sent all the "stuff" that was removed off to the lab for testing just to confirm that it was pregnancy type tissue.  The Doc put a "rush" on the tests so the results were supposed to be back 2 days later on Monday.  I was supposed to get the "Everything is normal" call sometime mid-Monday.

Instead, I got a call from the Doc's nurse that was a very urgent "He wants you to come in immediately.  He wants to do another ultrasound and more bloodwork."  To which I was all, "Um, is everything okay??" And she replied,"I really don't know anything other than he sent me a text that he wanted you in here ASAP for ultrasound/bloodwork."

Cue the total panic attack.  I drop what I am doing, get showered and dressed comfy (you know, in case I have to go straight to the hospital), make The Hubs clear his work schedule for the afternoon to drive me to the Dr.'s office.  I spent the 20 minute drive to the Doc's freaking out -- convinced that my fake baby was actually some mutant ball o' cancer.  *dramatic much???* 

We get to the Dr.'s office, ultrasound done, bloodwork done --- now, just waiting in the exam room for the Doc.  He pops through the door all bouncy and chipper about how everything looks "Really good!!" at which point I totally lose my shit.  I go off about how I really don't appreciate being dragged into the office on the premise that I am rotten on the inside only to have him bounce in like everything is fine and dandy.  All the color drains out of his face and he is completely embarrassed and apologetic. Apparently, there was a HUGE misunderstanding between his instructions to his nurse and her instructions to me.

Needless to say, he felt really, really bad.  And you know what happens when your Dr. feels really guilty???  He takes you and your husband into his office and spends 2 hours having a detailed discussion about all the options available to you.

It goes a little something like this: There are a handful of major causes of recurrent miscarriages.

*Note: I am being super simplistic in my descriptions because I know that, while you guys care, you didn't sign up for Intro to Baby Science 101.  If you are/have experiencing fertility issues please don't be insulted by my simplicity.

1) Anatomy -  Problems with the shape or condition of the uterus.  Septate uterus/bicornate uterus, uterine fibroids/cysts, scar tissue, etc.  Basically, these types of things can be a barrier to the embryo implanting in the uterus or being able to grow properly. 

*This is not my problem. I recently had a hysterosonogram in which saline is injected into the uterus during an ultrasound.  My uterus is "awesome"- the doctor's term, not mine.

2) Immune-  There are a bunch of chemicals in the body that are capable of having an immune reaction to a pregnancy.  In many cases, this reaction produces blood clotting in the super tiny blood vessels that feed an embryo/fetus.  When clots occur in these tiny blood vessels -- it essentially chokes off the blood supply to the fetus and can result in miscarriage.  Most times women are not aware that they are susceptible to this immune response until it causes the problem.  The treatment ranges from as little as a daily baby aspirin (81mg) to daily Heparin injections, sometimes these are only necessary during the 1st trimester but can be required throughout the entire pregnancy.

* I am waiting to find out if this might be an issue for me.  A couple weeks ago, my Doc drew about 4 gallons of blood to test for the 73 different types of chemicals that are capable of causing this issue. He warned me that the testing would take a couple weeks so I should be getting something back soon.

3) Genetic/chromosomal -  This is actually what most doctors believe causes the vast majority of miscarriages.  It could be that the sperm or egg were somehow genetically flawed.  It could also be that when the cells started dividing the copies didn't copy properly and ultimately the development couldn't continue.  While these circumstances may be the most likely cause of many isolated, single instance miscarriages, recurrent miscarriages are often a different story.

When it comes to recurrent miscarriage and genetics, there is possibility that My Eggs and The Hubs Sperms are genetically incompatible, as in they are incapable of mixing up properly.  Even though this is possible -- it is very rare.

*It will be a while before we explore this avenue.  The testing process is expensive and not always covered by insurance. If it is covered by insurance, it is usually not until numerous miscarriages have occurred and all other causes have been ruled out.

4) Progesterone Deficiency - Progesterone is the "pregnancy hormone".  It does 2 big things:  1) It gets the uterus "ready" for an embryo to implant during the Luteal Phase (aka the 2 weeks between ovulation and your period) by thickening the uterine lining.  2)  It is also what tells your body you are pregnant so it won't be trying to "get rid" of what's in the uterus.  

For the 1st 8-12wks of pregnancy it is produced by the corpus luteum (this is what spits out your egg from your ovary when you ovulate)  around 8-12wks the placenta fully forms and takes over the job of producing progesterone for the rest of the pregnancy.  Low progesterone from the placenta can also lead to preterm labor.  

Progesterone deficiency is believed to be a major cause of recurrent miscarriage.  Fortunately it can be supplemented either, by a pill, vaginal suppository, or injection.  My Doc prefers to use injections bc it is believed to be the most "effective" form.  However, I have been warned that the injections are HELLA unpleasant, but honestly I don't care -- I am pretty sure that having miscarriages sucks harder than some shots.  Some women only need to be supplemented during the 1st trimester until the placenta forms but some women have to be supplemented through their entire pregnancy --- again, either way I don't care,  I am pretty sure having miscarriages is more annoying than having to get shots 2-3x/week for 9mos.  

***This is the BIGGIE.  Many of you commented on my last post about possible issues w/ low progesterone.   If I had to place a bet as to what I believe the cause of my miscarriages has been I would bet on the low progesterone issue.   I base my completely non-medical, non-professional opinion on the symptoms/timing of my miscarriages along with the TONS of research/reading I have done about low progesterone.

The next big question is determining where the progesterone problem occurs.  Does it occur during my Luteal Phase (aka 2wks between ovulation and period) meaning that my uterus isn't getting properly ready to implant an embryo????  Or does the problem only during pregnancy meaning that I produce enough progesterone to GET preggo but not STAY preggo???

If it is a Luteal Phase problem --- then I would need to supplement my progesterone right after I ovulate each month and then continue through into pregnancy (if I get preggo that month).  If it's not, then my Doc recommends testing/supplementing for progesterone immediately after I pee on a stick (and get a +)

The only hitch is that in order to find out when I would need to get the progesterone -- I have to take a 3-4 month break from baby making in order to follow my Doc's cycle charting regimen and testing.   He gave me the option not do the charting but if I don't we can't address the Luteal Phase issue.  So that only leaves the option of supplementing after a pregnancy is achieved ---which he will still do for me.

I will be honest.  I am not loving the idea of waiting 3-4 months to try getting preggo again.  But I have decided ( after lots of soul searching and research) that I want to get all the answers I can ---  I need them desperately.  I also know myself well enough that if I go ahead and get pregnant again and it doesn't work out AGAIN that I WILL beat myself up for not doing the full regimen.

YAY!!!  There is a strategy!!  I have a plan!!!

(I really wanna talk about the charting regimen because I wanna see if any of you have heard of it but I am gonna save it for another post bc this one was too effing long about 6 paragraphs ago. )

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pt. 1: Miscarriages Are Like Snowflakes..... two are just alike.

When I realized I was pregnant the first time, I peed on a stick and immediately got joy drunk and stupid on Baby B*jorns and maternity clothes.  Which is just one of the many reasons my 1st miscarriage was so completely devastating.

It was so devastating that I kinda gave up on my body for the last 6 months. I was sooo angry, especially with my body.   I mean, really, why the hell should I do anything nice for my body if it's gonna thank me by failing to stay pregnant????  The anger just got worse as it seemed to take longer and longer for me to get pregnant again.

I think what made everything so very hard was that I had no answers.  I went to the doctor and was told:
-that my pregnancy was over
-that I didn't do anything to cause it but
-that there was no way to really know why it happened and
-that there was nothing that could have been done to fix/stop it
-that miscarriages are VERY common in 1st pregnancies
-that having one miscarriage doesn't mean you will have another

So I took my lack of answers and I went home and booked a first-class ticket to Crazytown, Population: 1. And for 6 months I proceeded to analyze and pick apart everything that I could have possibly done to cause the miscarriage. Once I had thought of every single ridiculous possibility I beat myself up mercilessly for each and every one.

Fast forward from January to June -- after 6 mos of being laser focused on doing everything "right" to get pregnant again, and failing to do so,  I was ready to take a break.  I was so ready to take a break that in June I stopped all my charting/fertility tracking effort..... no taking temps, no checking mucus (sorry TMI), no ovulation predictor strips --- nothing.

I was also ready to start feeling good again.  I had recommitted to start working out again and start giving a shit what I ate (for me, not for the purpose of getting preggo) beginning July 1st, right after TOM was over -- you know, just to make sure I was absolutely NOT pregnant.

I had no reason to believe that I might be preggo (well, other than the fact that Hubs and I had done The Dance w/ No Pants). I mean, really, I had been trying so hard with no success -- what would make this month any different???

Of course, June came and went with TOM nowhere to be found.  So I dig into my trusty stash of EPTs,  get my pee on  --- and I'm pregnant!!!

I was paralyzed with anxiety and fear.  So much for my big plans to recommit to exercise -- I was too damn scared.  I was too damn scared to do ANYTHING except sit on my couch and eat carbs.

*Side note:  Both of my 5 minute long "pregnancies" included overnight water retention/weight gain of 10lbs.  This is a whole different sort of anxiety for me but we'll save that for another post.  

I kept telling myself that everything was gonna be okay.  Just because I had one miscarriage didn't mean I would have two.  The universe wouldn't do this to me again.

I called the OB/GYN's office and explained that I was *kinda* going a little insane and if they made me wait till 9 weeks to come in for a check that I would most likely be in  a straightjacket by then.  So they graciously indulged me --  as a matter of fact, they brought me in once a week for the next 3 weeks.  Checking my HCG levels and doing ultrasounds to confirm if the pregnancy was progressing -- and it was, with every appointment I felt a little bit better and little bit more foolish for being so anxious.

That is until, I hit 7 weeks, exactly.  Just like the last time, just like clockwork --- the tidal wave of bleeding began.  I had 2 more days until my next Dr.s appointment so I just waited.   For 2 days my emotions ranged from ridiculous optimism that this was something else entirely not a miscarriage to total depression that this was happening AGAIN!!!

After 2 days of emotional volleyball it was time for my Dr.'s appointment -- the most significant appointment so far.  At this point, there should have been a very clearly visible baby type creature occupying my uterus --- but alas, there was not.  Just a big empty sac -- worst fears confirmed, miscarriage #2 in progress.

Cue the total meltdown.  Unlike MC #1 in which I was so stunned that I didn't lose my shit until several days later, I went into a total red-faced, puffy eyed, snot river, non-verbal, ugly cry (right in the middle of the clinic waiting room, no less).

After meeting with the Dr. I was scheduled for a D&C the next day (due to concerns about a possible ectopic pregnancy).  I spent the whole of Saturday laying in the hospital (without having had anything to eat since 12am the previous night) waiting to have a procedure that took barely 30 minutes --  lemme say this hospital trip wasn't nearly as fun and exciting as my last one aka when I got my Lapband.   By the time I was released, I was tired, hungry and more just a little depressed.  All I wanted was a hot fudge milkshake from S*nic ---- the 32oz milkshake to be exact.

Not my actual milkshake, just for visual reference
Just for the record, 32 ozs of milkshake is too much. Even if you haven't eaten for 18 hrs and you hate the world and just wanna die ----  that only covers about 26 ozs worth of milkshake, the other 8 ozs will just make you want to puke.

That concludes the 1st part of this saga. I feel the need to apologize for how long and convoluted it is, but that's the way it has been in real life.  Stayed tuned to the thrilling conclusion........

Monday, July 23, 2012

D & C with an NSV

First off, I wanted to offer all my thanks for all the kind words and thoughts.

Last week pretty much sucked.

The services for my Nana went well.  They were quiet and simple just the way she always said she wanted.  My family (mainly my Dad, Aunt, and Uncle) managed to maintain good behavior.  This is a huge blessing because they do not get along well and it takes very little for them to go nuclear on each other.  However, we managed to get through the weekend with no one losing their shit and that was a HUGE success.  I have to admit I was moderately amazed that the weekend didn't descend into a nuclear meltdown because their childishness knows no bounds.  The real stress was walking on eggshells and being perpetually prepared to deal with a family fight that could happen on a second's notice.

As for the miscarriage, I am coping way better than I thought I would.

There are a lot of things I want discuss and purge but that will come out over time.

With my 1st miscarriage, my OB/GYN gave me a pill that would make my body "release" the tissue so that the process wouldn't draw out for weeks and weeks.

With this current miscarriage, there were some factors that were suggestive of an ectopic pregnancy so they wanted to do a D & C in order to test the tissue to rule out an ectopic.  If you aren't familiar with D&C -- it is a minor surgery that is done under general anesthesia.  Here where the NSV comes in --  when they rolled me back to the pre-op to start my IV and begin my anesthesia.  I heard the Nurse Anesthetist talking to the nurses at the main desk about my height and weight stats.  (I guess she was looking at my body size and comparing my stats) Next thing I know, she comes walking over to my gurney and questioning me about my height/weight.

I had given her my height 5'3 and my most current weight 195lbs (taken at my Drs office the day before)  ----  SHE DIDN'T BELIEVE ME!!!  She was all "No way!!!  But you are so tiny!!!" Then she raises my blanket and says "You must have incredible muscle mass?!?"

In my head, I just kept thinking "What!?! Did you seriously just call me tiny???"  What blew my mind even more was that for the whole 5 minutes that I was pregnant I had managed to gain 10lbs and I just felt super gross and huge and bloated.

The lesson is, NSVs happen even on the most terrible of days.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

If I Could Lose Weight As.....

....easily as I lose pregnancies then I would have seen my goal weight months ago.  Sorry if that is morbid humor but that's about all I've got right now.  

That's right. I am sure some of you had your suspicions so I am coming clean on all my gloom lately.  

My last post (Thursday) had me pretty sure that my 7.5wk pregnancy was coming to an end -- for those of you who are new followers or didn't get the memo, this would be my 2nd pregnancy/2nd miscarriage in 6 mos both ending at approx 7.5wks.  

I have spent the past 2 weeks swinging back and forth between feeling super hopeful and positive to feeling total despair and doom and everything in between.  

As if life could not suck any worse ---  I got a call at 7am this morning informing me that my 92 yr old Nana passed away in the wee hours of this morning.  ( My 1st miscarriage in January coincided with the death of my Granddad.  It makes me just a wee bit suspicious that perhaps my toxic uterus is an instrument of death and destruction??) 

My Nana when she was about my age.   She was a total stunner! 

This whole saga has many more details and I have tons of emotions to express but, quite frankly, everything is swirling around my head in a blur and I am tapped out of emotional energy to sort it all.  Maybe once this gets a little smaller in my rear view I will be able to sort out my thoughts and get it all out.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I have noticed a theme running through several of today's posts calling out folks who have "disappeared" from blogland and/or  the need/want to unfollow bloggers.

Right or wrong, I really took these personally, but I always do.  I am totally "Little Miss Guilty Conscience" like that -- I am always convinced that I am the offending party and that anonymous complaints are always aimed directly at me.

 I am totally guilty of bailing on blogland but the truth is that I am a total disaster.  My life has been turned upside down lately and I don't know if I am coming or going.  I am stuck in a holding pattern where all I can do is sit here and be stressed out, confused, and miserable.

Many of you might say, "Why don't you talk it out on your blog?" Well, honestly, because I am not ready to talk.  Because talking about something makes it real -- it puts it out into the world.  So then not only do I have to contend with my own swirl of mixed up emotions I also have to contend with the insecurity that comes from exposing my issues to others.

I also don't feel right putting my hard times out on my blog and seeking support through it when I know that right now I don't have the emotional energy to give support back to others.  I am swimming in stress and negativity and I really don't want to put that out into blogland because that doesn't do anything for anybody.

So I have become a hermit.  I have pulled my head inside my shell and I have turtled and there may or may not be lots of chips and cookies with me inside my shell.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sugar Free Drinks - How Not To Melt Your Teeth While You Melt The Pounds!!

Hey y'all!! I just got done reading Lap Band Gal's post about her recent dental appointment.  I urge you to go read the post if you haven't already but here is the Cliffs Notes version.  
Lap Band Gal has acid erosion on her teeth!!   And it might be related to some of her healthy habits!!! Come to think of it-- acid erosion is something all of us WLSers could be at risk for as a result of our newer healthier choices.   Since I AM a dental hygienist (aka real life tooth fairy) -- I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about acid erosion and how it can be managed and prevented.  

What is Acid Erosion??  

It is the irreversible loss of tooth structure due to chemical destruction by acids not of bacterial origin.  As opposed to cavities, or caries, which is the destruction of the tooth by bacterial acids/ by-products. (But that's a whole 'nother post!)   Here are some examples of acid erosion (these are pretty advanced cases and in no way suggestive of the lovely Lap Band Gal) :

This type erosion on the back side of the teeth
 is common in bulimics
and those with chronic, severe acid reflux.  
In other words, acid erosion is caused by acidic things that come into direct contact with your teeth i.e. acidic foods, acidic drinks, stomach acids due to excessive vomiting or reflux. 

What, specifically, causes acid erosion??? 

Well, acid, of course, DUH!!!  Just kiddin'!  When it comes to acid erosion, there are couple of primary causes.  

  • Acidic foods -  Citrus fruits - lemons, limes, oranges, pineapples, etc.  
  • Acidic drinks - Fruit juices, Regular & Diet Sodas, Sugar Free Drink Mixes (i.e. Crystal Light),  Regular & Diet Sports Drinks (i.e Powerade Zero / G2) 
  • Stomach Acid Exposure - due to chronic vomiting or acid reflux 
Although many of us WLSers do deal with acid reflux from time to time, acid reflux isn't likely to be our biggest issue when it comes to acid erosion.  Our biggest concerns are these guys: 

What is one of the biggest bandster rules??  DON'T DRINK YOUR CALORIES!!     

In an effort to "follow the rules" many of us totally rely on these calorie free drinks to help get/stay hydrated.  Unfortunately, our reliance on these types of drinks is putting us at serious risk for acid erosion or damage to our tooth enamel.  

There are two main ingredients found in these low calorie drinks that are guilty of causing all the trouble and those are:  Citric Acid and/or Phosphoric Acid.  

Citric Acid and Phosphoric Acid are where these drinks get most of their flavor.  If you are wondering if your drink of choice contains either of these ingredients, just check out the label, they probably do.  I took these from my pantry. 

Coke Zero

Crystal Light
Powerade Zero

How Do I Prevent Acid Erosion?  

I know you guys are thinkin',  "Great, so I am laying off the sugary drinks so I can control my weight loss, and now you are tellin' the zero calorie drinks are no good either???" 

While I am sure we can all agree that we would all be a lot better off if water were the only liquid we consumed.  I am realistic enough to know that sometimes the ol' H2O just isn't all that appetizing.  So whattaya do??  Here are some DO's & DON'Ts to combat acid erosion:


  • Immediately swish your mouth out with plain water after drinking acidic drinks.  
  • Or pop a piece of Sugarless Gum to stimulate saliva production which will help neutralize the acidic environment. 
  • Dilute your drink mixes as much as you can possibly tolerate. Example: If your drink would normally be mixed with 16oz of water, try mixing it with 24oz of water instead.  You still get the flavor but the acid is just a little less concentrated.  
  • Use an enamel strengthening toothpaste, I recommend either Sensodyne Pronamel or Colgate EnamelProtect.
  • Only use a Soft or Extra Soft bristle toothbrush. 
  • Add a Fluoride Mouth Rinse to your oral care routine -such as:  ACT Restoring Mouthwash, Listerine Fluoride Defense, or Listerine Total Care Zero (if you can't handle the burn). 
  • Use a straw if you can -- it helps limit the contact between your teeth and the acidic drinks. ( I know there is a lot of debate about whether or not straws are okay with LapBand so I suggest this only if you can tolerate it and if your surgeon has given you the okay to drink from a straw.    My surgeon is cool with it and I actually prefer drinking from straws.) 


  • Brush your teeth immediately after consuming acidic food or drink. Wait at least 30 mins before brushing to allow your mouth to "balance" the acidity.  Brushing too soon can brush away the tooth structure.  
  • Nurse your beverage all day long.  Try to set a time limit to consume acidic drinks.  For example, give yourself 1 hour to drink your Crystal Light, Powerade, etc.  If you still need something to drink -  switch to plain water for an hour. It takes the mouth 20 mins to balance it's pH after exposure to acid-- if you are sipping all day long your mouth is never getting a chance to balance its pH therefore your enamel isn't getting to re-harden itself.  
  • Swish your drink around in your mouth like mouthwash. I know this may sound odd but you would be surprised how many people do this without even thinking about it.  Don't let the acidic drinks linger in your mouth any longer than necessary. 

So there you go.  My thoughts on acid erosion.  I wanted to be thorough without writing you a dental textbook so if you have any questions or something isn't quite clear just leave it the comments.  

Hope this helps!!!